Browser Session Replay


Session Replay expands your user experience monitoring by allowing you to capture and visually replay the web browsing experience of your users. Combined with RUM performance data, Session Replay is beneficial for error identification, reproduction, and resolution, and provides insights into your web application’s usage patterns and design pitfalls.

The RUM Browser SDK is open source and leverages the open source rrweb project.

Session Replay recorder

The Session Replay recorder is part of the RUM Browser SDK. The recorder takes a snapshot of the browser’s DOM and CSS by tailing and recording events happening on a web page (such as DOM modification, mouse move, clicks, and input events) along with these events’ timestamps.

Datadog then rebuilds the web page and re-applies the recorded events at the appropriate time in the replay view. Session Replay follows the same 30 day retention policy as normal RUM sessions.

The Session Replay recorder supports all browsers supported by the RUM Browser SDK with the exception of IE11. For more information, see the browser support table.

To reduce Session Replay’s network impact and ensure the Session Replay recorder has minimal overhead on your application’s performance, Datadog compresses the data prior to sending it. Datadog also reduces the load on a browser’s UI thread by delegating most of the CPU-intensive work (such as compression) to a dedicated web worker. The expected network bandwidth impact is less than 100kB/min.


Session Replay is available in the RUM Browser SDK. To start collecting data for Session Replay, set up Datadog RUM Browser Monitoring by creating a RUM application, generating a client token generation, and initializing the RUM Browser SDK. For setup in mobile environments, see Mobile Session Replay.

Session Replay is supported by SDK version 3.6.0 or later.


Starting with v5.0.0 of the RUM Browser SDK, the Session Replay starts recording automatically when calling init(). To conditionally start the recording, use the startSessionReplayRecordingManually init parameter and call startSessionReplayRecording().

For example, to only record authenticated user sessions:

  applicationId: '<DATADOG_APPLICATION_ID>',
  clientToken: '<DATADOG_CLIENT_TOKEN>',
  site: '<DATADOG_SITE>',
  //  service: 'my-web-application',
  //  env: 'production',
  //  version: '1.0.0',
  sessionSampleRate: 100,
  sessionReplaySampleRate: 100,
  startSessionReplayRecordingManually: true,

if (user.isAuthenticated) {

To stop the Session Replay recording, call stopSessionReplayRecording().

When using a version of the RUM Browser SDK older than v5.0.0, Session Replay recording does not begin automatically. Call startSessionReplayRecording() to begin recording.

Disable Session Replay

To stop session recordings, set sessionReplaySampleRate to 0. This stops collecting data for the Browser RUM & Session Replay plan.

If you're using a version of the RUM Browser SDK previous to v5.0.0, set replaySampleRate to 0.

Playback history

You can see who has watched a given session replay by clicking the watched count displayed on the player page. This feature allows you to check whether someone you’d like to share the recording with has already watched it.

Check who has watched a session's recording

The history includes only playbacks that occurred in the player page or in an embedded player, like in a Notebook or side panel. Included playbacks also generate an Audit Trail event. Thumbnail previews are not included in history.

To view your own playback history, check out the My Watch History playlist.

Mobile Session Replay

Learn more about the Session Replay for Mobile.

Further Reading